Transportation FAQ

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How are non-busing areas determined?
The non-busing area is determined by measuring the shortest distance from the student’s residence (where the front of the property meets the street), along a reasonably safe walkway, street, or highway that is accessible to the public, to the assigned entrance of the school the student attends. If any portion of where the front of the residential property meets the street is outside this distance, the student will be provided busing to and from school. The non-busing area is at a distance of a half mile for kindergarten through grade 5 and a distance of one mile for grades 6-12. The ISD 199 Transportation Coordinator determines the shortest or most direct route.

How do I know if we live in a non-busing area?
Service distances for transportation are half a mile (.5) and further from school for elementary students (grades K-5) and one mile (1) and further for middle school and high school students (grades 6-12). There are NO non-busing distances for preschoolers.

How will I know which bus my child takes?
ISD 199 emails families their child’s/children’s bus route information before the first day of school. Bus information can also be accessed through the Parent Portal’s Infinite Campus. Parents and guardians can log in to the Parent Portal at with credentials from their child’s school.

If you have not received parent portal credentials yet or you can’t remember your login, contact your child’s school. Please be aware that you will need to verify your identity over the phone to receive this secured information.

How are bus stop locations determined?
Bus stops are established so students in kindergarten and grades 1-5 who live .5 mile or more from their school and students in grades 6-12 who live 1 mile or more from their school are transported to the school in their attendance area.

Our goal is to consistently identify bus stops in neighborhoods on the basis of safety, efficiency, and distance between stops. Generally, bus stops are located at an intersection in order for the driver to have a wide area to scan for traffic and students, to create efficient routes, and to minimize buses backing up.

  • School bus drivers do not have the authority to change bus routes or student pick-up/drop-off locations.
  • Generally, bus stops are located at least three blocks apart.
  • Generally, 20-25 students may be assigned to a bus stop. This number may be exceeded at cul-de-sacs, high-density housing areas, and high school stops because students are not standing on through-streets and/or they are older.
  • Bus stops are placed at locations that meet defined criteria, are centrally located, and are within reasonable walking distances from the student’s home.
  • We are not able to locate all bus stops within the line of sight of each student’s home or daycare.

What is the maximum length of time for a bus route?
Routes are established so no student rides the bus for more than one hour and 15 minutes one way.

Under what conditions does ISD 199 consider adjusting bus bus stop locations?
Roads and streets sometimes intersect on areas of road that cause concern for school bus transportation and the motoring public. We make every effort to select safe places to load and unload students given these varying factors of roads, streets, traffic speeds, and locations of residences. Adjustments to bus stops may be made when we believe a safer alternative is available.

Why do some children have to cross the street to board the bus?
We are not able to route buses so all children can wait for the bus on the door side. We recommend children wait on the side of the street on which they reside. The bus will activate warning lights and a stop arm to alert traffic in order to accommodate students who need to cross the street to board the bus.

We live on a cul-de-sac. Will the bus come down our street?
Except to transport special education students, buses generally are not routed down cul-de-sacs because of the danger to small children and property caused by the bus turning around and/or backing up in a small area. However, elementary school buses are routed down cul-de-sacs that are 1 mile long or longer, and middle school and high school buses are routed down cul-de-sacs that are 1.5 miles long or longer.

Our neighborhood has no sidewalks and has hills and curves. Can we have an additional bus stop so our children do not have to walk to an existing stop?
With the large number of streets and bus stops in our school district, it is necessary for some students to walk on roads that have hills, curves, and/or no sidewalks.

I cannot see the bus stop from my house.
The school district provides transportation for more than 2,600 students to and from school each day. We are not able to position bus stops so that all parents are able to see the stop from their home.

My child carries a large musical instrument and/or a heavy backpack and he/she is the only student using the bus stop. Can the stop be moved closer to our home?
Generally, bus stops are centrally located for all students. Bus stops are not changed to accommodate one or more students because that may displace other students further from their home. Even though other students living along the route may not be riding the bus, we must keep bus stops as they have been published. A central bus stop is necessary because other students may begin riding the bus or new families may move into the neighborhood. It is the responsibility of the parent to ensure their child arrives safely at the bus stop.

The bus drives right past my house. Why can't it stop at my house?
The higher frequency of stops makes other drivers impatient. This may result in drivers driving around the bus and causes greater safety concerns than the distance a student has to walk to the bus stop. It also delays the bus by increasing the number of stops, making the overall student ride time longer and making it more difficult to get all students to school and back home on time.

I own a daycare and need the stop at my house because the state requires me to see the students at all times. Why can't the bus stop be located at my house?
As noted above, bus stops are centrally located and at intersections. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the daycare provider to get the students to the bus stop.

I have young children at home and/or I leave home because of work.
In order to be consistent and fair in placement of bus stops, the school district is not able to establish stops based on personal circumstances.

How can I help my child have a successful bus ride to/from school?

  • Arrange for your students to be at their bus stop 5-10 minutes before the scheduled pick-up time.
  • Monitor children to prevent them from damaging the property of others at the bus stop.
  • Be aware that the bus will pick up and drop off students at the same stop every day that school is in session.
  • Help your children learn their bus numbers/letters.
  • Review the bus safety rules with your children.
  • Accompany younger children to the bus stop and meet the bus at the end of the day for the first days of school, or arrange for an older child or childcare provider to be at the bus stop for the first days of school.
  • Bus pick-up and drop-off times are based on favorable weather and road conditions.
  • Traffic congestion, road construction, inclement weather, and population changes may cause minor adjustments in pick-up and drop-off times.

Winter Safety
Winter weather can be challenging for students due to extreme cold temperatures and snowy conditions. Students should dress appropriately for cold weather and wear heavy jackets, hats, mittens or gloves, and boots.

Students should try to be at their bus stop 5-10 minutes before their bus arrives. To accommodate families throughout the school year, but especially when buses run late due to weather and/or road conditions, we offer the Versatrans My Stop app. The app allows parents and guardians to track their child’s bus. Click here for instructions to download and log in to the My Stop app.

Students are not expected to wait more than 15 minutes for their bus to arrive. If possible, parents should drive their children to school if their bus is more than 15 minutes late.

Other Tips for Students

  • Students should wait for the bus several feet further back off the road in a safe place. The roads can be slippery.
  • Use the handrail when boarding and exiting the bus to prevent slips and falls on icy steps.
  • Keep head and limbs inside the bus windows to prevent frostbite and other injuries.
  • Before crossing in front of the bus, wait for an “all clear” from the driver. Cross 10 feet in front of the bus so the driver can see you as you cross.
  • Don’t play on snow piles at the bus stop — you could slide into the street.
  • Don’t try to retrieve personal items from under the bus that may have fallen — the driver can’t see you.
  • Don’t push or shove when getting on or off the bus.
  • Don’t chase the bus or grab the bus when it’s moving.

Tips for Parents and Guardians

  • Parents should keep their car windows clear of frost, ice, and snow.
  • Parents should use extra caution in school zones and at bus stops, especially where snow piles exist.
  • If a student misses the pick-up, don’t try to catch the bus at another stop. Drive the student all the way to school.
  • Don’t follow buses too closely with your car — they make frequent stops.
  • Always stop 20 feet away when a bus has its flashing red signals on. Drivers must stop whether they are heading in the same or opposite direction of the bus on any undivided road.